An Afternoon Of Bokeh And Shadows

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Went for a little stroll at a nearby park here in Shonandai to give my little DIY flash filter holder a test. Just a couple of plastics and some electrical tapes really. Nothing magical. Here are some photos from the formidable 50mm 1.4D. I really love this lens.

Red and blue gels from right of camera. The accents were kinda weird though but I like them anyway. =)

Sunlight accented with a half CTO…

Red gel from left…

God bless everyone…

CP+ 2011

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The CP+ 2011 photo and imaging show in Pacifico Yokohama, Japan has already concluded yesterday. Well, I knew in my heart of hearts the cost of going there…drooling, craving, hankering, yearning…you know, all the symptoms of the dreaded Gear Acquisition Syndrome. Nonetheless, I went later in the afternoon despite the freezing temperature and light rain showers. Thankfully, admission was free for the last two days. Overall, I had a good time albeit short. It was worth the, uh.., sacrifice after all. Anyway, more information about CP+ 2011 can be viewed on this link.

The provided pass. Neat, isn’t it?

The usual names in the imaging industry, among others. (Simple collage done using online tool http://www.photovisi.com, hence the watermark.)

I found these gorgeous little cuties in the Pentax corner on my way out. Flashy, aren’t they? Too bad they don’t offer free name engraving on the lenses. It would have been sweeter if you ask me.

God bless everyone…

Window Light

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We often associate white with purity, cleanliness, and peace (though in other countries, white represents mourning and death). White is also a prevalent background color in photography. It’s one of those background colors that can cause the subject to “pop” a bit more. Additionally, many colors are wonderfully emphasized when placed against a white background.

There are loads of ways to achieve a white background. White seamless papers are very common in studios. You can even put virtually anything on a white background using Photoshop. Bedsheets, white boards, window lights, unused calendars, white walls, … the list can go on.

In the stitched image above, the subject was placed against a window (window light) to obtain a white background. Also, a red-gelled SB600 was placed on the right of camera for the red highlights.

(It rarely snows here in Yokohama during winter seasons. That is why it is just beautiful to see the falling snowflakes outside right now, however fleeting and cold…)

Improvise

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Got an SB-600 this morning. Despite it undergoing a lot of nuking stress since its arrival, the little one is just as impressive as I have expected it to be. Easy to use, light and compact, quite good recycles… really appeals to my liking, this one.

I’m not in any form or way, paid to be endorsing Kitkats in this post, whatsoever. It just so happened that we’ve got loads of these lot crammed in the kitchen corner. And mind you, “corners” are really indispensable treasure geysers when one is in an urgent wish for a swift, home-made, always available, virtually cashless lighting setup but not having the right goods at hand (yet).

D3 + 50mm 1.4D: 1/250 @ f8 @ ISO 800; FEC +2.7, zoomed to 24mm

The setup: a couple of shoe boxes, to be disposed 2010 calendar (back) for background, VHS tapes as diffuser stand (+snoot), and a bond paper as diffuser.

The diffuser setup proved to be effective after all… and fun. =)

Here’s another one from the kitchen corners; trash bin specifically. But I wouldn’t be calling this garbage photography.

D3 + 50mm 1.4D: 1/250 @ f5.6 @ ISO 200; FEC -1.0, zoomed to 85mm

D3 + 50mm 1.4D: 1/250 @ f5.6 @ ISO 200; FEC -1.0, zoomed to 85mm

The setup: suit cover as background (the white markings was covered with a black laptop case), VHS tapes as reflectors this time, and a disposable plate for top fill reflector (handheld).

So there you go. One SB-600. And a little bit of improvisation. Works great. God bless everyone.

Inside the House

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It is freezing cold here in Japan. Well, I really don’t fancy winter seasons that much. All these itchiness and drying of skin… right now, my ams and my thighs are full of itching red blotches! The chilling temperature outside is more than enough to effortlessly rob my fingers of the capacity to feel or move normally (let alone squeeze the shutter), and cause my toes to numb and turn purplish. And all these scarves and gloves and sorts of heavy clothing stacked on top of each other…; its uncomfortable. And what could be more irksome than those doorknobs and metal drawers consistently giving me ear-tingling (static) electric shocks every time I touch them? Worse, I always forget that they do! (LOL) Winter, oh winter…

Controlling my camera also tends to be very challenging at this time of year. A few exhales directed to the back LCD condense immediately to droplets, wetting and obscuring the LCD. And the already numbed fingers wrapped with very thick gloves… good thing the D3 is, as heavy as it is, fortunately thick glove-friendly.

Being locked up inside the house during winter is not really a bad thing as far as photography is concerned. I believe that photographs are everywhere, inasmuch as light is everywhere; including inside our very own house. Even though winterly mood can be partly blamed why things we see sometimes appear so unbecoming, unspirited and gray, subtle available light with a touch of blandness can be simple recipes to good photographs.

That being said, sometimes I have to force myself to see a little bit beyond the familiar, everyday-seen, almost insignificant ‘heres and theres’ inside the house.

I’m still saving for flashes, you know. So free, available light for now.

Nikon D3 + AF 50mm f1.4D. God bless everyone.

Bargain!

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2010 Christmas holidays was one the greatest, at least for me. Got a slightly used Nikon D3 for a remarkably low price from a local second hand shop in Tokyo. Just around 40% off of its original posting price. Great, eh? I was eyeing this one for two weeks hoping and hoping that since it was the holidays, they would somehow offer this for a lower price. And they did. For just a day. Went straight of course. Armed with a couple of Japanese lines for asking more discounts and freebies, finally got this low-light beast with a Nikkor 50mm 1.4D for free! Still second hand though but no matter, no matter. This was beyond what I could hope for, you know. An instant nightvision kit.

Nikon D3 + Nikkor 50mm f1.4D; 1/40 @ f4 @ ISO 6400 (straight from camera)

ISO 6400 test shot. Very usable if used carefully. We were on our way to Minatomirai, Yokohama for the New Year countdown. Straight from camera. Really impressive ISO performance.

Nikon D3 + Nikkor 50mm f1.4D; 1/200 @ f2.2 @ ISO 200

Taken on our way to China Town, Yokohama. Meet my friend here, Chyll. Took this test shot to see the lens’ bokeh talents. Not really very promising but not bad either. Applied some layers for skin tone enhancements and a wee bit of vintage look to it.

Nikon D3 + 50mm f1.4D; 1/125 @ f2.8 @ ISO 200; China Town, Yokohama. (straight from camera)

Nikon D3 + 50mm f1.4D; 1/40 @ f2.8 @ ISO 560 (straight from camera)

The Minatomirai strolling group on our way home. A blessed new year to everyone. God bless.

Makati Assignment

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As one of the cities in Metro Manila, Makati City is the financial center of the Philippines and one of the major financial, commercial and economic hubs in Asia. [Wikipedia] And for two months, I was assigned here by our company to do Android related research projects. Had a good experience with my teammates and some of our Japanese pals. Great place, great food, good friends.

A view of Makati City from Makati Executive Tower. I stayed here for around two months.

A view of Makati City from Citadel Inn. Quite far from where I was working. Stayed here for the first two weeks.

A view of Ayala Avenue, Makati City from our office. This is one of the city’s main superhighways. Took this shot during noontime. Sun was very high. See the shadows? Turned out okay though.

God bless everyone.

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